Linnea is a fusion of Scandinavian and European flavours
Linnea has been on my list of restaurants to review ever since it opened at the end of 2013, but I’ve only just managed my first visit.
Its name comes from the national flower of Sweden and is also owner, Jonas Karlsson, grandmother’s name, who was the inspiration for many of his dishes. Jonas was previously Head Chef at Fifth Floor Café at Harvey Nichols and cooked at Coq D’Argent and Orrery.
We went on a quiet Wednesday, but maybe it was quiet because no one could book. I called on three separate occasions over a couple of days and, despite the website saying they are open from 10am, no one answered the phone and there was no machine to leave a message.
The restaurant is small and beautifully formed with simple décor of taupe walls and some nice artwork. The menu is limited to five starters and five mains, but offers an interesting choice and, to be expected from a Scandinavian, an emphasis on fish.
For my starters I had the prawn toast ‘Skagen’ with lemon and dill mayonnaise (£8.50). This came as a mound of chopped prawn and mayo on a slither of lightly toasted bread. Not complicated, but full of flavour. Alex, my husband, opted for the marinated ‘gravad’ beef, green beans and horseradish snow (£9.50), the thinly sliced beef being a take on the usual salmon and dill gravadlax. The meat was tender and delicious and saltier than bresaola, while the horseradish snow was truly icy on the tongue.
For mains I chose the poached salmon, sauce verte, braised wild rice and cauliflower (£18). This was beautifully presented , but while the cauli and rice were well cocked, the salmon was so moist is seemed almost wet. Alex fared better with his pea and mint risotto (£13.50), with the delicate mintiness hitting him with the first mouthful. The risotto was not too creamy and the peas firm and full of flavour – a simple, but great dish, he said.
Jonas came out to chat to each table, which is a really nice gesture and he genuinely wanted everyone to enjoy their evening.
The best came last with the Swedish Daim bar cake (£6) – crunchy almond caramel, chocolate and butter cream. Heavenly and a perfect way to end the meal.
12 Kew Green, TW9 3BH
Bookings: 020 8940 5696